Bummer News for Pen Salesmen

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Here’s a few of the things I found out last night reading the New York Times.

Bicycle sales have slumped from their huge increase over the summer. Even though the gas prices of over $4 a gallon made many people bring in old bikes to fix up, and buy new ones with commuter gear, and made many of us think that bikes would see a golden resurgence, some bike stores have seen a sales slowdown now that the recession is in high gear. Analysts aren’t sure if the warm weather will bring back the good times or if it was all just a fad.

Dairy farmers, too, are now feeling headwinds compared to the rosy days early this year. That’s because milk powder is selling for about one third less than it was back then, and it’s piling up in huge warehouses. The US government has agreed to pay farmers about 91 million to buy up a bunch of this surplus milk, but prospects are bad and many farmers are trying to cull their herds. It’s tough to find buyers because the dairy business is in weak shape.

In South Korea, another hard hit sector is the plastic surgery business. People are cutting down on liposuction, breast implants and nose jobs because of the recession.

Forty drug companies have agreed that starting this year they will no longer give out pens, staplers, flash drives and other gadgets branded with names of their drugs. It’s a giant blow to the makers and sellers of these useful and ubiquitous giveaways. Big pharma spent about six billion dollars a year on dinners, trips, and the giveaways, and they voluntarily agreed to stop, since it makes it seem like they are influencing doctors about which meds to prescribe.

Sounds like a major bummer for anyone who sells pens and now maybe Staples will see a surge in sales since the freebies will no longer be given out.